📽New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Frank Theatres Bayonne/South Cove LLC📽

Frank Theatres Bayonne/South Cove LLC

Just in time for a sh*tty holiday movie season with subpar fare like “Vice” and “Aquaman” hitting theaters, Frank Theatres Bayonne/South Cove LLC and 23 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in the District of New Jersey. Under brand names Frank Theatres, CineBowl & Grille and Revolutions, the company owns and operates 9 pure play movie theaters, 3 family entertainment complexes (i.e., bowling, arcade, etc.), and 3 combination — movie theater AND family entertainment — locations. Despite a robust year for Hollywood on the heals of highly successful-cum-intellectually-retarding movies like Avengers:Infinity War and Venom, the company’s revenues and resultant losses over the past three years paint a clear picture as to why this company is in bankruptcy court. From 2016 through 2018, revenues have declined from approximately $65mm to $56mm to $40mm, respectively. Losses, in turn, come in at $10.2mm, $11.3mm and $9.7mm. These are brutal numbers.

Of course, part of the issue here is that, in certain cases, this chain knew nothing of first run screenings of the aforementioned hits. Per the company, the expansion beyond the core theater business into the broader entertainment space proved disastrous, marked by poor locations, unprofitable leases, cost overruns, delayed openings, and ineffective management. Consequently, the company started deploying theater revenue like an ATM to service the flailing entertainment business. Except, there was one giant problem with all of this:

While operating cash and third-party loans were being used to support the liquidity need caused by the over-budget, past-deadline, and unprofitable new locations, the remainder of the existing locations also steadily declined in general admissions and total revenues as preventative maintenance, standard course refreshes, and local marketing initiatives were reduced or abandoned altogether. In addition, landlords and critical vendors were not paid or were materially aged beyond their standard payment terms. These poor management decisions were made in most cases without the knowledge or consent of the Debtors’ capital providers.

Whoops.

In some instances, the Company was evicted, locked out of its theater locations, and/or box office studios refused to allow the theaters to exhibit key first run movies which further exacerbated the decline in financial performance.

Like we said: they knew nothing of first run screenings. Not that you’d want to see them at these theaters anyway:

Under Debtors’ prior management (pre-September 2017), the physical state of many locations was severely neglected. Much needed capital improvements were not made into maintenance or upgrades of many locations. As a result, over time, the locations became dirty and in disrepair, which ultimately deterred business and resulted in a decrease in revenue.

Now if that doesn’t sound like an oh-so-lovely-holiday-moviegoing experience we don’t know what does. Usually a rabies shot isn’t a prerequisite to seeing a new flick.

Given all of this (and alleged mismanagement which is now the subject of ongoing litigation), the company was ill-suited to compete (deep voice) in a world where the industry shifted to the “premium” movie-going experience. After all, why go to the movies at all if you can just sit at home and watch Sandra Bullock evade zombies on Netflix. The only reason is, thanks to 4DX and the like, to feel that punch to the face from Dwayne Johnson or the wind in your hair when Tom Cruise races down the streets of London on a motorcycle. Except, this company didn’t have any of that new razzle dazzle. They did have the prices though:

While the condition of the Company’s locations deteriorated, the movie theater industry in general trended toward an enhanced movie going experience, including luxury recliners and a more “premium” experience. At the same time, the Debtors’ ticket and concession prices continued to rise in line with, or over, the industry average (which further discouraged customers).

And so now bankruptcy. The company has a restructuring support agreement that includes participation from both its first lien and second lien lenders. The former, Elm Park Capital Management LLC, will have $20mm of their debt reinstated (which may included up to $5mm in DIP financing). The latter, Seacoast Capital Partners III LP, will reinstate $2.5mm to be paid with 25% of net cash proceeds from the sale/monetization of the reorganized assets (once Elm Park has received $20mm on account of their claims). The balance of secured debt will convert into equity. General unsecured creditors are likely to donut.

The company intends to emerge from bankruptcy with only the most profitable locations intact.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of New Jersey (Judge Meisel)

  • Capital Structure: $31mm first lien debt (Elm Park Capital Management LLC), $8mm second lien debt (Seacoast Capital Partners III LP)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Kenneth Rosen, Joseph DiPasquale, Michael Papandrea, Eric Chafetz)

    • Financial Advisor: Moss Adams LLP & Paragon Entertainment Holdings LLC

    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • First Lien & DIP Lender: Elm Park Capital Management

      • Legal: Neligan LLP — Patrick Neligan Jr., John Gaither

    • Second Lien Lender: Seacost Capital Partners III LP

      • Legal: Dorsey & Whitney LLP — Larry Makel, Eric Lopez Schnabel

    • Benefit Street Partners LLC

      • Legal: Moore & VanAllen — Alan Pope

New Chapter 11 Filing - rue21 Inc.

rue21 Inc.

  • 5/15/17 Recap: Pennsylvania-based specialty fashion retailer (owned by private equity shop Apax Partners LP) with 1184 brick-and-mortar locations (pre recent closing initiative) in various strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers filed for bankruptcy to (i) further revamp its e-commerce strategy, (ii) improve the in-store experience, (iii) right-size the store footprint and lease portfolio, (iv) de-lever its capital structure, and (v) effectuate a long-term business plan under its relatively new management. The numbers here are interesting: the company had a negative EBITDA swing of approximately $51mm from 2015 to 2016 - despite rising sales. The company's girls' division got decimated due to "an evolution of customer tastes." Wow! Who knew that teenage girls have fickle fashion tastes? These merchandising issues combined with (a) supply chain issues (heightened - in a self-fulfilling kind of way - by all of the rumors surrounding the company's bankruptcy), (b) "the shift away from brick-and-mortar retail sales to online channels," AND (c) a "not as robust" e-commerce presence relative to competitors, to put the company in a tough spot. A digression: we have previously noted David Simon's comments on the Simon Properties Group (SPG) earnings call from 4/27/17 that SPG is NOT experiencing a decline in traffic - though he offered absolutely ZERO data to back that up. According to SPG's own website, there are currently 90 rue21 locations in SPG properties (which translates to nearly 8%): we're curious to see whether any of these 90 locations will be featured in store closing motions coming soon to a bankruptcy court near you; indeed, in the first instance, it appears that some already are). The company is proposing a deal whereby the Term Lenders will effectively own the majority of the company post-bankruptcy after rolling-up a $100 DIP credit facility (applied in addition to $50mm of new money to be rolled into an exit facility). They've been so kind so as to give general unsecured creditors (read: the little guys) a 4% equity kiss - but only if they vote to accept the plan. Otherwise, the "death trap" door opens and general unsecured creditors end up with nada. We're sure a creditors' committee will have something to say about that. 
  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of Pennsylvania
  • Capital Structure: $150mm RCF ($78mm funded)(Bank of America), $521mm '20 TLB (Wilmington Savings Fund Society as successor to JPMorgan Chase Bank NA), $239mm '21 9% unsecured bonds (Wells Fargo Bank NA).    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Nicole Greenblatt, Robert Britton, George Klidonas) & (local counsel) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Jared Roach)
    • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Stephen Coulombe, Kyle Richter, Patrick Farley)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild Inc. (Neil Augustine, Jonathan Brownstein)
    • Real Estate Advisor: A&G Realty Partners LLC
    • Liquidator: Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC
      • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Nancy Peterman)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for access to the free docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • ABL Agent and DIP ABL Agent: Bank of America
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Matthew Furlong, Marc Ledue, Julia Frost-Davis) & (local) Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (James Newell, Timothy Palmer, Kelly Neal)
    • TL Agent and DIP TL Agent: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB and Term Lender Group (Bayside Capital LLC, Benefit Street Partners LLC, Bennett Management Corporation, Citadel Advisors LLC, Eaton Vance Management, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Octagon Credit Investors LLC, Southpaw Credit Opportunity Master Fund LP, Stonehill Capital Management LLC, Voya Investment Management)
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael J. Cohen, Jeffrey Bresch, Genna Ghaul)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners
    • Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Gerard Uzzi, Robert Nussbaum, Eric Stodola)
    • Sponsor: Apax Partners LP
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker, Jonathan Endean) & Duane Morris LLP (Joel Walker, Kenneth Argentieri)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Jay Indyke, Cathy Hershcopf, Seth Van Aalten, Michael Klein, Lauren Reichardt) & Fox Rothschild LLP (John Gotaskie Jr.)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Samuel Star)

Updated 7/12/17